Mary's Sweet Bread
10 Mark Street
Pawcatuck, CT 06379
(860) 599-0340

Mary's Sweet Bread

The Sweet Bread Tradition
Mary Soares

Portuguese Sweet Bread, or massa sovada, was often baked at Easter, as it is thought to symbolize rebirth. Many recipes call for an egg to be cracked in the center of the bread, as a symbol of the rock tomb of Jesus.

Mary's mother insisted that the ritual of baking sweet bread be shrouded in secrecy, and no one in the house ever knew when the bread would be made. Her mother would wait until the house was quiet, all were in bed, and the blinds were drawn tightly before taking out the enamel basin and assembling the ingredients. It was her belief that, had anyone suspected the bread was about to be made, it would cause "mal olho" or the evil eye, a curse that would render the bread flat and useless, and visit bad luck upon the household.

Mary Soares now preserves her family’s tradition by selling her mother's bread throughout New England and the world. Building on the original recipe, Mary has now added her own specialty products, including dinner rolls and mini loaves that retain all of the unique qualities of the original sweet bread.